The end of Jennifer Echols Week is upon us. It makes me oh so sad that it coming to a close but I just wanted to thank you all so much for participating! I have had so much fun celebrating this wonderful woman’s work and I so hope you guys enjoyed it as well! So what was your favorite part of the weeks? I especially loved the Boys of Jennifer Echols post because of all of the swoon. I mean, how could that not be my favorite part!?! Since today is the book birthday for Dirty Little Secret, I have decided to celebrate with one last review! Be sure to check out what I think about that book below BUT also be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post! Again, one last thank you for making Jennifer Echols Week an enjoyable one for me; you guys are full of awesome!
RECAP OF #JenniferEcholsWeek:
Tuesday July 9th: Kick-off Post + Tune In Tuesday Jennifer Echols Edition
Check out what songs I picked for each of Jennifer’s books!
Wednesday July 10th: Cover Talk
I had a blast talking about ALL of Jennifer’s covers!
Thursday July 11th: Review of Such A Rush
Good God. This book was freaking amazing!
Friday July 12th: Jennifer’s types of books: Romantic Comedies, Romantic Dramas, Adult, New Adult
I had a blast talking about my favorites from each category!
Saturday July 13th: Review of Star Crossed
J. Echols does an adult book. Heck to the yes!
Sunday July 14th: It’s Raining Book Boyfriends, Hallelujah!
One of my favorite things in a Jennifer Echols book: a swoon-worthy boy!
Monday July 15th: Girl Power!
Jennifer has some kick-ass girls in her books too. Check out which ones are my favorite!
Tuesday July 16th: Recap of week + Review of Dirty Little Secret + Giveaway
Jennifer Echols Week comes to an end *cries*
Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Pages: 288 Hardcover
Publisher: MTV Books
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
I was absolutely thrilled to find out that Jennifer Echols was going to have a countrified book. I grew up on country music and even now, I love listening to it because it takes me back to when I was a little girl. When it came to the country theme in Dirty Little Secret, Jennifer Echols did not disappoint!
Bailey, while not my favorite of Jennifer Echols’ characters, was still enjoyable. She is having a hard time as of late. Formally part of a Bluegrass Duo with her sister, Bailey is struggling to accept that her sister got picked up by a record company and she did not. On top of this, she is also dealing with the fact that her family doesn’t seem to accept or support her anymore. My heart hurt for her because this is like sibling rivalry times 100. I had hard times in life when I felt my other siblings were being favorited so I could only imagine just what Bailey was going through. On top of feeling like a secluded black sheep, Bailey is also told she cannot perform otherwise her parents will not be paying for her college. This is like a triple slap to the face. But considering that Bailey has and currently is going through a bit of a rebel phase, she performs anyways. Playing fiddle for tribute bands at the mall leads Bailey to Sam and this is where her troubles really begin.
Sam, also not my favorite of Jennifer’s normally swoon-worthy guys, was still an interesting character to read about. He is working so hard to get his band on the map. Every move he makes has some ulterior motive in helping the band to get recognized. Though his drive to succeed musically was inspirational, I did not agree with how he played, deceived, and manipulated people to get there. The only problem with this is that Sam made it awfully hard to get mad at him. Despite the lying and the manipulating, I never once felt that Sam meant it in a malicious way. When he wasn’t lying or trying to convince Bailey to go along with his plan, Sam seemed really sweet and adorable. His intentions always seemed (mostly) sincere, he really just wanted to get noticed. Even though I spent a majority of the book at least trying to dislike Sam, he did have a few moments that totally melted my heart.
Bailey and Sam were such an interesting couple. There is an obvious attraction right from the beginning. Bailey, despite how moody she is and how much she turns down Sam’s offer for her to join his band, actually seems really taken with Sam. She envies his passion for succeeding in the music industry and silently wishes she had the ability to chase her dreams like he does. And Sam, despite how equally moody he can be and the fact that every other sentence out of his mouth has some sort of unintentional dirty innuendo behind it, really loves spending time with Bailey. He sees how talented she is and works so hard to make her see that she needs to fight for what she wants and what she should want is a career in music. On the outside, it really seems like these two shouldn’t be together especially when you consider how Sam is pushing to be a successful musician while Bailey is trying to hide the fact that she is performing again. Even though there are some very obvious problems with this relationship, you just can’t deny what the heart wants. There were some pretty awesome moments that made me smile and swoon. Sam had moments where his sincerity and shyness made me say aww and then when Bailey softened up around him and let down that tough girl persona, I was so happy. BUT I just wish there was a bit more something, that usual spark I feel when I read a Jennifer Echols romance. I felt like that even though there was a connection between Bailey and Sam, there could have been a few less moments of arguing and a few more moments of smooching (or something equally swoony).
My absolutely FAVORITE part of this book was the country element. No matter what I read by Jennifer Echols, I always feel like I am transported to wherever the book is taking place. She has such an incredible talent for setting the stage for a story and that was most certainly the case for this book. I felt like I was smack-dab in the middle of Tennessee. It made me wish I could walk through the mall to see a Dolly Parton or Johnny Cash tribute band. It made me want to walk down the streets, passing through the bars to hear all of the up and coming country acts. And I wanted to walk down the sidewalks and see musicians busking, giving it their all in a free performance. Everything from the fiddle that Bailey plays to the countrified versions of Justin Timberlake songs that Sam’s band played, made me feel like I was really in this book.
Dirty Little Secrets has a little bit of everything that I come to love and expect from a Jennifer Echols book. There was a main character struggling to find a place. There was a boy who helps her out and also adds a little bit of swoon. But more than anything, there was a setting that transported you to the middle of Tennessee and made you feel like you were experiencing every wonderful, hard, exhilarating, and self-discovering moment with Bailey & Sam!
ADD YOUR #JenniferEcholsWeek LINK:
In celebration of the release of Dirty Little Secret and the completion of Jennifer Echols Week, I am hosting a giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will have their choice between two different prizes: 3 Jennifer Echols books of your choice (if the winner selected is from outside of the U.S., their books will be in e-book form. If it’s a U.S. winner, they will have their choice.) OR, if like me you are sort of a huge Jennifer Echols fan-girl/fan-guy and happen to own her books already, you will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card! All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t forget, if you participated in Jennifer Echols Week, you get 2 extra points for each day that you participated! Best of luck to all of you!